ADA in the News: June 4, 2018

Walmart Accused by US Government of Bias Against Deaf Workers

Bloomberg BNA

A Walmart store in Washington discriminated against two deaf employees by failing to provide them with American Sign Language interpreters and other accommodations, the U.S. government alleges.

Walmart isn’t the first company sued by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under federal disabilities bias law for allegedly failing to accommodate employees or job applicants with hearing difficulties. Others include McDonald’s, the Cheesecake Factory, and FedEx Ground Package System.

Diabetes in the Workplace

Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

Patients with diabetes face a great paradox. On the one hand they have a disease that is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations and disease-related heart attacks in the United States. On the other hand, if their diabetes is well controlled they can avoid these terrible complications of diabetes and lead happy, productive, fulfilled lives. The paradox is most apparent in the workplace.

On the one hand employers worry about excess absenteeism due to diabetes. Employers worry about persons with diabetes hurting themselves or others because of low blood glucose reactions causing accidents. They worry about driving up the cost of their group health insurance rates because of the increased costs related to hiring a person with diabetes.

On the other hand, they do not want to fail to hire a good employee just because they have diabetes. Also, they do not want to violate any of the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act that offers protections to persons with diabetes. The Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to make “reasonable accommodation” for persons with disabilities.

Why Law Firms Should Make Web Accessibility a Priority in 2018

The National Law Review

In our increasingly digital world, web accessibility has become a focus for everyone from disability advocates to firms committed to a high standard of corporate social responsibility. In this article, we will outline the key issues and demonstrate why your law firm should be making web accessibility a priority this year.

Another fish shot in a barrel by the EEOC!


Chalk up another fish shot in a barrel by the EEOC. Another low hanging fruit plucked!

To anyone who reads this blog, you know that I keep track of the cases in which the EEOC zeros in on health care providers who allegedly violate the Americans With Disabilities Act or The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of Title VII. You know – doctors, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc.

Why the fixation? Because it’s so easy for the EEOC to score points going after the “caring professionals” who the EEOC claims discriminates against those with disabilities or who are pregnant.

My most recent relevant post was in January when I asked (again):

“What is it about health and medical care facilities that brings down the heavy hand of the EEOC so often, alleging ADA and pregnancy discrimination? Is it that the helping profession somehow has an innate bias against the disabled and against pregnant women, and discriminates more than other employers?”

Not likely.

“Or, could it be,” I said, “that the EEOC sees such health care folks as fat, juicy targets — for example, accusing the helping profession, which is there to treat the sick, disabled and pregnant, of disability discrimination surely attracts the inevitable sanctimonious media attention. Alleging that doctors discriminate on the basis of disability against the very folks that they are there to minister is sure to bolster a somewhat battered EEOC image.”

Now comes the latest – payment of $15,000 by St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center in Indianapolis to settle an EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit. The EEOC alleged that an employee with lifting restrictions of indefinite duration caused by her disabilities was required to take leave at reduced pay despite her request to continue working. Even though the Hospital had a vacant position for which she was qualified she was nonetheless fired.

Uh oh. Can anyone say “reasonable accommodation?”


Said an EEOC attorney: “This lawsuit demonstrates that employers should be aware of their obligation to provide a transfer as a reasonable accommodation for employees who are qualified individuals with disabilities.”

That goes double for the helping professions!

How Movie Theaters Are Failing Viewers with Disabilities


Cinemas aren't doing everything they can for their patrons -- or their employees who interact with the disabled.

An attack on the disabled

San Francisco Examiner

A few months ago, the House of Representatives passed HR 620, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act. It is a shocking attack on people with disabilities. It also is shocking attack on civil rights law itself.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is one of the most practical, visible, and popular pieces of legislation in our history. It was passed by Congress in 1990 with 93 percent of House members voting “yea” and passing the Senate 76-8. When you see a co-worker in a wheelchair roll into work on a ramp, an elderly relative use a restaurant’s bathroom easily because there are grab bars, or use a “kneeling” bus with seats reserved or movable for people with disabilities, thank the ADA.

Paul Smith: Disability is a natural part of the human experience (Gazette)

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Throughout our nation individuals who have intellectual or physical disabilities have become valued members of and serve their communities in a wide variety of roles.

Some need supports to do this and some do not. Given the opportunity to live an integrated and productive life, they can and do exceed all expectations.

It is difficult to understand why outdated options that endanger and devalue lives by segregating individuals from the community are still considered an option. Indeed, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) declares the segregation of people with disabilities to be a violation of their civil rights and requires that services and supports be provided in the “most integrated setting.”

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